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Platform

Xbox

 

Genre

Action

 

Publisher

Sierra / Vivendi

 

Developer

Swinging Ape Studios

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

Q4 2003

 

 

- Lots of mass chaos and destruction
- 3rd person shoot-em-up at its best
- Over 40 missions and 17 unique weapons
- Ability to hijack enemies
- Did I mention its fun as hell?

 

 

- Some annoying movement controls may bother you a bit
- No Xbox Live
- Action is handed out in bunches, not spread out equally
- No save option during missions (only at checkpoints)

 

 

Review: Dead to Rights (Xbox)

Review: Murakumo (Xbox)

Review: Otogi: Myth of Demons (Xbox)

 

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Metal Arms: Glitch in the System

Score: 8.4 / 10

 

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With another year of gaming all wrapped up, weíll have to wait and see how 2004 will treat us. 2003 offered great games and big blockbuster titles such as Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Star and Wars: KOTOR along with others. However big names didnít always promise big fun, with some under-hyped games making a huge splash. Metal Arms: Glitch in the System (GITS) proves to be one of those games.

Metal Arms doesnít bring together any new elements, but perfects an already popular style. Reminiscent of Ratchet & Clank (PS2), GITS falls in the same category of 3rd person mayhem. You take the control of Glitch, a small yellow robot who joins a resistance band of droids fighting off an evil army of robots. Heavily outnumbered in size (and arms), Glitch is placed behind enemy lines on dangerous missions to help shift the tide of war. The story isnít intended to have deep and complicated meaning -- the intro does shed some creative light on the situation, but

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isnít vital on any level. GITS is a light-hearted game with more comedic value seen less and less in games today.

GITS sends you on missions that leave no space for breath. Once launched into a setting, expect relentless hordes of enemies. The level design leaves a lot of open spaces for jumping around and avoiding fire, but not too big as to run around for five minutes trying to

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locate a switch. Missions are simple and not complicated at all; they range from rescuing POWs to destroying huge factories often with a twist or sudden change of objectives.

(If you have a few friends over, plug in some extra controllers and wreak havoc in 4-player split screen.)

The weapons in GITS will be sure to leave your mouth salivating. Your standard weapon, the Mining Laser, is weak and dull. Once you get through the initial missions, youíll see some bigger and more powerful weapons waiting to be utilized. Weapons like the Spew (a rapid firing machine gun) and rocket launcher become available as you progress through the game. My favorite weapon is not a weapon at all. Known as the Tether, it launches a beam into enemy bots, and gives you total control of their abilities. The best part about the roster of weapons is the option to upgrade them by purchasing new parts. Sometimes, immediately after destroying an enemy, youíll see washers (metal donut-like objects) fly out from their body. Picking up these washers go towards acquiring new weapons, upgrades, and accessories. Upgrades to weapons give them more firepower or less recoil. The accessories arenít too shabby either, ranging from grenades to scopes.

 

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In addition to a good arsenal, GITS also has a decent amount of vehicles. The first youíll try is a hovercraft equipped with a pair of clamps on its nose and a machine gun pitted in the middle. The quick and agile vehicle makes for a quick destruction-dealing, but larger enemies may cause you to think twice before clamping away towards them. Other vehicles tend to carry more power and size, such as the Tank. Big in size, slow in speed, but great power with its one shot-cannon. (Careful on that one, turning leaves you vulnerable to attack from the sides.) My favorite of all vehicles has an odd name, the RAT. The RAT is fast and exceptionally powerful, though you never actually get the chance of shooting. You use the RAT when in need of reaching a certain destination with great speed. You take control of the steering, while your AI buddies man the turret in the back. The missions involving this fast cat make for great fun.

Graphically, GITS is filled with colorful moments, but for the most part, it's a bit watered down because of the darkness of most missions -- you'll be inside a cave or underneath a structure trying to find a way out, leaving lots of colorless objects in the area. Not that this is a bad thing, it does add to the mood, but it wonít leave you amazed.

GITS delivers decent sound as well, again without a lot of inspiration. The voice acting is top-notch, featuring some hilarious sequences from beginning to end. Other sound effects, like explosions, machines, and weapons, remain standard. With so many weapons and accessories, GITS did its best to have each one of them carry a distinct sound from one another.

In a nutshell, Metal Arms: Glitch in the System is the last great game of 2003 youíve never heard of. It delivers quality gaming that will last longer than other games that offer lots of eye candy, but donít deliver on the fundamentals: fun and simple gaming.

- Eric Lahiji
(January 20, 2004)
 

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